Dealing with Mutashaabihaat in Hifz

Try to write down the Mutashaabihaat (similar verses) you confuse systematically in a notebook for easy reference when revising Hifz.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

What do I do when my hifz starts mixing because of similar verses? Can I avoid this and how?

As one continues to memorize, they will come across similar verses that may confuse other previously memorized parts of the Qur’ān if they are not dealt with correctly.  Those who are Hafiz or who are memorizing will know exactly what we’re talking about here. 

In the Qur’ān there are roughly 6.5 thousand verses and about 1000 of these are similar to each other. Similar or resembling verses are known as mutashaabihaat in Arabic. Sometimes the difference can be as little as a single particle (harf), so one has to be very exact. But the question is how does one deal with this issue to avoid mixing up their Hifdh?

Here’s the simple but very important rule: as soon as you come across a resembling verse in your new memorization portion, you must stop there and then go back to the place where the other verse that resembles this one is (from your previously memorized portions). Compare both verses and see exactly how each one is different or similar. Once you have established both verses in your mind along with their similarities/differences, you can continue memorizing your new portion. It is important to do this there and then to avoid the new connections you have made in your brain for the new portion of memorization interfering with the previous connections of the other resembling verse you have previously memorized.

To avoid this in the first place, and to save yourself from extra review and re-memorization, it is best to go back and compare and establish mutashaabihaat as soon as you find something that resembles what you’ve already done. In other words you fix both parts before the connections in your brain mix with each other. Since this can  happen during the processing stage for new memorization which takes place in the brain in the first 10 minutes after you have memorized something, it is best to deal with mutashaabihaat before this, i.e. before you begin to actively memorize the new part.

It is important also to take hold of this golden opportunity!  Allāh سبحانه وتعالى includes these detailed similarities to give us the chance to think and contemplate them.  They spark our curiosity and push us to seek answers regarding what Allāh سبحانه وتعالى is conveying to His servants.  They are treasure chests of meaning and lessons, and we will elaborate on some of these gems in future posts, in sha Allāh.

The importance the scholars give to the memorization of the Qur’ān with precision:
Do you know Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad the muhadith of Madinah has written a whole book on the mutashaabihaat of the Qur’ān (verses similar to each other and how to differentiate between them)

It is interesting to note that it is only those who memorise the Qur’an who are led to such opportunities.  This is because only someone who has memorised will remember verses in different places which have similar wording and/or order. This is yet another invaluable benefit to memorising the Qur’an.

So when you, the student, embark on your memorization, build up your excitement and look forward to these golden opportunities.  You will not only be floored by what you learn from these mutashaabihaat verses, but you will be even more motivated to continue your memorization—and you will wish your memorization would never end 

Ref: حق تلاوته

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